What are we here for?
We meet here to talk about Godly Play, to share what it’s all about and to discuss how to do it better.
The weekly blog posts are designed to help Sunday school teachers prepare for their Godly Play lessons, and the individual pages (see the tabs at the top of this page) share information about how we do Godly Play at First Baptist Church, Greenville, SC.
We’d love to hear from teachers everywhere, not just the ones at our church! We hope you’ll join our circle and share your ideas!
What Godly Play is Not
Godly Play is quite different from the traditional model in which the teacher tells the children what they need to know. Godly Play is not about things that are that simple. It is not just about learning lessons or keeping children entertained. It is about locating each lesson in the whole system of Christian language and involving the creative process to discover the depths of meaning in them.
What is Godly Play?
According to the Godly Play Foundation, Godly Play is a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture.
Godly Play is about understanding how each of the stories of God’s people connects with the child’s own experience and relationship with God.
Godly Play respects the innate spirituality of children and encourages curiosity and imagination in experiencing the mystery and joy of God.
Read more about Godly Play here.
How do we do Godly Play at First Baptist Greenville?
Christians of many different denominations use Godly Play and probably do it differently, even within the same denomination. In this blog, I describe Godly Play by sharing the way our church does it. That doesn’t mean that it’s the best way or the prescribed way, or the only way, of course, but it’s the way that suits us best.
Welcome to our lesson for August 26, The Great Family, found in Genesis 12-15, 24. (Script is found in the yellow Fall book, p.57-64.)
Idea Starters for the Give a Gift to God Time:
1. Stars! Check out these GORGEOUS stars shown here, which would be easy for all ages to make. Children could write on the other side a Bible verse from this story, perhaps Genesis 15:5 “ See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”
Or make a moon and star like this:
2. The beginnings of the great family: make Sarah and Abraham and Isaac out of play clay or clothespins. Or make finger puppets of the family. (Plenty -hundreds- of clothespins are in the art resource room in a cardboard box.
3. Each child individually- or all children together- could make a drawing of their part of the great family– their birth family and church family, all on one piece of butcher paper.
4.Sand drawings or sand art – to remember the desert in the story. Make a simple drawing- or the child’s name written in cursive- and cover the lines with glue, (I have new glue bottles in my office) then sift colored sand over the glue. The glue will stick to the sand. Children could also include names of others in their family.
5. Act out the story: Abram and Sarai walking toward Haran, sleeping in their tent, walking along the Euphrates, Abram being with God and knowing God wanted them to move on, Abram building an altar in Shechem and then in Bethel and Hebron, God’s promise to Abram, Sarah hearing she would have a son and laughing, Isaac and Rebekah.
6. Make a door hanger to commemorate Abram and Sarai’s willingness to go where God led them. You could use 1 John 5:3: This Is Love for God:to Obey His Commands.
7. Let children who wish to make a map of the area of the story.
For more art response ideas, see my Pinterest page, here.